Photo Transfer Canvas


I recently had the opportunity to take some classes with Jen Starr. This was the one I was most excited about — transferring a photo onto canvas. The background was painted with acrylic paint and stenciled and stamped … then we transferred the photo (in my case, the lighthouse) and then added the metal around the edge. The rest, I finished at home, finally!

I won’t tell you how to transfer the photo because that was Jen’s class, but I can share some of the work I did to the piece.

First, I should tell you that touring this lighthouse was a bit of a life-altering experience. During the 96 steps to the top, I realized that my lifestyle changes made in diet and exercise are working. I also pushed myself to deal with my fear of heights. And, I had a paranormal experience. Much more on all of this to come, but because the place was so special, I wanted it to hang in my living room.

If you look closely, you will see that I forgot one of Jen’s instructions in doing the transfer, so I am missing a couple of pieces, but I feel it adds to the paranormal quality of the art, don’t you think?


Jen also stressed in her class that the elements added have meaning and not just be random pieces of art. I took that to heart and nearly every piece included is done for a specific reason.

The metal quote (from Tim Holtz) is there to represent the paranormal experience. The keys tell of my courage and determination to “own” the lighthouse and climb all of those steps despite the full-blown panic attack I was having from my fear of heights. (The anchor and metal corner piece are decorative … hint: I painted the metal corner embellishment with Distress Paint to cover the brass.)


Suel Choix (inked wooden letters) is the name of the lighthouse. It’s name, in French, means “only choice.” The story goes that some French sailors were caught in a storm and this bay was their only choice for survival — hence the little French sailor from Prima. The lighthouse was once the center of the fishing community in this part of Michigan, so I included the fisherman from Prima as well.

The arrow signifies movement and direction, which I took in climbing the stairs. The compass is for the journey we took to get there — we had to use GPS because it was so far off the main road — and the admit one is for the tickets we had to purchase to see the lighthouse. The wooden saying, a moment to remember, also painted, is so I will always remember that if I set my mind to it, I can do anything!

By the way, the chimney and roof are actually in front of the tower. When I cut out the picture and saw how it looked like it was painted onto the tower, I thought it led a ghostly quality to the canvas.


2 thoughts on “Photo Transfer Canvas

  1. This is just amazing! I can’t wait to see it in person. You will have to tell me about this whole experience you had. Maybe one day I can face my fear of heights and do this too. Fabulous job on this! Hugs, Robin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s